Fall In Love With More Free Templates! Click Here To Get Your Own Smitten Blog Design... »

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Relish Life

While studying the book of Ecclesiastes in "Solo" an uncommon devotional by The Message I got really fired up.
Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 is basically a "go for all the gusto you can get WITH GOD" assignment. The past couple months I've been focusing on praying for young married couples and I think they will find this wisdom (most likely from Solomon) a great pick me up for their marriage

Seize life! eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes-God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don't skimp on colors and scarves.
each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift. It's all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there's neither work to do nor thoughts to think in the company of the dead,
where you're most certainly headed.

How are you going to use the gift of today?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Be Contagious-Pass it on!

No sooner had I started praying for a group of married couples than the Lord gave me the word “contagious”. Yesterday, at the drug store and grocery store they kept announcing that they were offering free flu shots. Maybe my brain was reflecting back to that and how spouses share germs! God was going elsewhere with the word though and urging me to challenge you to pray that our marriages would be contagious, in a positive manner, to others. A call for us to pass on the joy we find in our marriages to others and to find ourselves speaking positively about our spouses in public. So here is our assignment this week.

Think of a character trait you admire about your spouse and leave them a note in their car, on the bathroom mirror, in the refrigerator, etc, thanking God for placing that trait in your spouse. Acknowledge a specific occurrence when that trait was put into action in a very simple way.

Here are some examples.

Honestly (An over spent the budget, broke something, a misunderstanding, a desire, a regret, a sin issue needing prayer.)

Faithfulness (Not having an affair, working day after day, going to church weekly)

Teachability (Learning to operate appliances, technology, the lawn more, maybe a special dietary need, how to play a sport, taking a class, doing Bible Study, etc.)

Forgiveness (That’s an easy one!)

Compassion (Rubbing your tired back, caring for children or the elderly, giving to the less fortunate.)

Sincerity (A time they really listened with their heart)

Selflessness (Sacrificing personal desires, wants or time.)

Sense of humor (Laughing over something that you could easily cry over or get angry about. Coming home from work in costume! Telling a good joke!)

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Willing to Die

This photo is of our daughter and her new husband falling backward off a bench towards our creek! They were all smiles despite the incident!
Willing to Die
The phone call came from a young man who was engaged and wavering in whether his upcoming marriage was a good thing. Fortunately, this couple had been in godly premarital counseling for several months. The groom to be was attending a session where the pastor asked the young man if he was willing to die for this woman. He couldn't say he was, which led to other considerations and eventually the wedding was called off.

That is a tough one. I am not certain my husband was ready to die for me 33 years ago! In doing a quick search I found verses on being willing to lay down our lives for our friends and our brethren, but not specifically our spouses. Hmm, guess they should fall into both of those categories! :)

C.S. Lewis once said, "Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."

Here is a great prayer for our marriages from Philippians 1:6:
Father, Your love is perfect. Your love is pure. Oh, that we could love and be loved like the example you have laid out before us in Christ. By faith and believing in the power of perseverance obtainable through the Holy Spirit, we pray that He who has begun a good work in our marriages will carry it on to completion. May our marriages be pleasing in Your sight.
In Jesus' Name, Amen


A faithful man shall abound with blessings.

Proverbs 28:20

Considers these commitments others have written as vows.

(Taken from Quiet Times for Couples by H. Norman Wright)

My commitment to you is to listen to your concerns each day for the purpose of having the kind of marriage we both want.

I realize that our love will change. I will work to maintain a high level of romance, courtship, and love in our relationship.

I pledge myself to confront problems when they arise and not retreat like a turtle into my shell.

I commit myself to you in times of joy and in times of problems. We will tackle and share our problems together.

I promise that I will never be too busy to look at the flowers with you.

I will respect your beliefs and capabilities that are different from mine and will not attempt to make you into a revised edition of me.

I will be open an honest with no secrets, and I desire you to be the same with me.

I will reflect the Word of God in my relationship with you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Character Traits

August 24
If you have any influence in a child's life prayer, is the most powerful gift you can give that child.
Be sure to click on the link above called "Character Traits".

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


In Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, she writes from Christ’s perspective and I found this quote not only applicable to our walk with Christ, but also the way God realistically looks at our marriage relationships.

“I look for persistence-rather than perfection-in your walk with Me.”

Whew, thank you Jesus!
We will keep on keeping on in Your strength and with Your guidance.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Be Knotty

Last week I was walking and praying for a group of young marrieds and the Lord impressed upon my heart this phrase...”Be Knotty." Say it out loud and it almost sounds like “Be Naughty”
Being a visual learner the idea of giving a knot to my spouse came to me. I challenge you this week to find a piece of ribbon for your wife, or cord/roping for your husband (think what their style is) and give them a knot to keep in their wallet, place on their desk at work, in the kitchen, etc. as a reminder that what God has joined together we should let no man/woman tear apart!

There is a good aside to this....learning to think what your mate enjoys. My husband and I were slow to learn this. We had a habit of planning what we found enjoyable as special getaways for each other. The mishaps began the day we returned from our honeymoon. Professional wrestling intrigued my husband and when we came back from our honeymoon he had ringside seats for us at an event at the Civic Center. Never in my life had I been so repulsed.
Beyond what went on in the ring, I could not stand the language of the WOMAN in the crowd. I think that truly was the first time in my life I’d heard woman shouting the “F” word. Big newly wed mistake! If I recall, we didn’t stay long.

When my husband's 40th birthday came along, I planned the party of my dreams! I rented out a bed and breakfast at a nearby ski resort and invited 10 of my husband's closest guy friends and their families to meet us there as a surprise. I also had a Christian band come to do a concert one night. It was like a cruise weekend with an activity schedule planned out hour by hour. I thought it was perfect. When my 40th rolled around a note was placed on my bathroom mirror telling me what time to be sitting in our car with only my toothbrush. He whisked me off for a weekend for two in DC. Very romantic and quiet like he would enjoy.

So when it came to making my knot, I first grabbed for some pretty ribbon, but in a masculine brown of course. Then I thought, nope he’d probably rather have dock roping, so I grabbed the closest thing. Then, knowing he is not into crafts, I made my own KNOT and have it in my purse.

Take time this week to do something for you spouse that you don’t like to do. I hate tuna fish, but my husband loves it, so I will make him a tuna fish sandwich to take to work this week!

Here are some of the knots I came up with. I ended up doing a card to mail to my husband, so his knot makes it to work.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Strong Union

And the two shall become one. (Matthew 19:5)

Praying for several marriages this morning brought this verse to mind. I thought of how Monday mornings bring separation. There is very little in this world that pulls us together (actually, heartache and trials do the best job). Our jobs, the demands of children (especially their extra curricular activities), the up keep of our homes, even church commitments can take us from the one to whom we’ve committed to be joined.

So what conscious decisions have you made to counter attack to pull you away from your time with your spouse?

"Making marriage work is like running a farm. You have to start all over again each morning.” Anonymous

What simple act could you do this week that might strengthen your marriage and show a united front.

Think back to your wedding day and how God must have been smiling as He looked down about your union!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Keep Vigilant for Temptations Come

Keep vigilant watch over your heart....that's where life starts. Proverbs 4:10-5:14 packs a powerful punch as it reminds us of the temptations which are waiting to trap us. The phrase "such a woman" is described in "Solo" as "things in your life that seduce you, meaning anything that sucks you in, lures you, misleads you or even corrupts you."

The call was clear..."Invest your time in young marriages." Interestingly enough, it began on a day my husband was away at work for 13 hours. I needed to have my guard up and prayerfully protect my own marriage. Hemming and hawing I tried to resist the commitment to this new endeavor from the Lord. Sinking into my normal routine of two specific devotionals confirmation was clear. The first came from the reference to Proverbs in "Solo-The Message" above and ended with this challenge. "What does keeping watch over your heart look like? Confess regret about time and energy you've squandered?" Then I opened "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young and August 10th said..."Energy and time are precious, limited entities. Therefore you need to use them wisely, focusing on what is truly important."

God is telling me that encouraging one another in the efforts of keeping our marriages as priceless treasures and spurring one another on in the parenting/grandparenting responsibilities we are called to is a worthwhile purpose.

So join me by sharing books, blogs, websites and particularly scriptures which encourage you.

Reality Check:
The validity of how real everyday temptations are came to me on my walk this morning. The past two months I've been blessed to have my son or husband accompany me on my morning walks. This morning I was alone and had turned down a side road close to the driving range of a nearby country club. A golf cart came speeding down and stopped right in front of me. The attractive man began conversing about what a fast walker I was and inquired where I lived. The conversation continued in a very innocent fashion, but certainly left open opportunity to become more personal. Being a friendly soul, I could have led it anywhere I wanted. Being taken a bit off guard and totally alone in a secluded area, I did come to my senses and share about my husband (whom it ends up this gentleman knows) and his job at a Christian school (that can be a turn off). We must keep a vigilant watch over our hearts!
Personal Challenge
Resist the temptation to plug into TV and your computer tonight, before you invest intimate moments with your spouse. The kind of moments that let them know they are cared for and treasured. Maybe leave a note on the TV or computer which says...."I'd rather look at you!"

Making the Most of our Moments

Hitting the downside of 50, we tend to contemplate whether our lives have made a difference.
What kind of legacy will we leave? Has God's purpose for us been fulfilled?
Pondering those questions, I realized most of my life's experiences have been from the perspective of a birth mother of six, an adoptive mother of one (plus a few extras along the way), a mother in law, a wife, a friend and now a grandmother. There are so many things in the past I wish I could have done differently. The most incredible lessons I have learned have come from the deepest pains.
Hopefully this blog will encourage others and be a platform for you to share what you've learned. In the real world we don't always have to hold our heads high...it's ok to bow to the Father and let him be the one to lift our chins in love.

I will have a "Recommended Reading Categories" for parenting and marriage. So send your suggestions. Also, a place for products which have made your life easier! (Like the bumpo picture on the sidebar.)

The big journey the Lord has placed in front of me for this site currently is A Marriage Alliance. Being an encourager to younger couples who are treading off where we have trod. Pray each day for the family in America. Pray for protection and vibrancy for those families who are healthy; hope, strength and perseverance to survive for those who are hurting; and refreshment and restoration for those which have been blown apart. Whatever category you find yourself in today, remember God's mercies are new every morning!